Leases

Almost without exception, unless you have had some legal training, you are unlikely to be comfortable ploughing through complex legal documentation.

If you take a five-year lease at £16,000 rent per annum you’ve just committed yourself to paying a minimum £80,000.  But before you get in you might need to do a refurbishment. As tenant you will also be expected to reimburse the cost of insurance put in place by the landlord.  Depending upon the type of property you might also have responsibility for a service charge to keep common parts in tip-top condition.  You will definitely be expected to keep the property in a state of repair and if you are not particularly savvy you may very well end up painting the premises in the last three months (whether in real terms it is required or not) because that is what the lease says. You may or may not have to remove fixtures and fittings; additional costs might be incurred to reinstate the premises.  You could end up giving the property back in considerably better condition than when you got it.

Nobody particularly wants to pay a solicitor if they can avoid it.  There is always plenty of help and guidance on the internet.  But if you would like quality advice and guidance, tailored towards your specific needs before entering into an agreement come to Levins Solicitors.

 

What services can Levins Solicitors provide?

Renting your first property?

Most frequently we are instructed when you have already “negotiated” the terms with a very nice letting agent although in reality you are more likely to have been “told” the rent that you are paying, how long the lease is for and that it is always standard to be “FRI”.

You didn’t ask about a possible “break clause”.  Why would you?  5 years is what you were told so that’s what it is.  And what on earth was that stuff about statutory protection let alone FRI?

If you are looking for commercial premises you very well may find that the nice letting agent in fact is a highly competent and skilled chartered surveyor whose only interest is getting the very best deal for the landlord.

By the time you come to Levins Solicitors, having possibly “negotiated” for weeks, the damage may very well have been done. The very official “Heads of Terms” now reflects the agreement and the landlord isn’t willing to budge.

Be prepared and in the know! Arrange a face-to-face fixed-fee appointment to discuss and receive advice from our Senior Partner before going into negotiations.  Let him provide you with guidance of the proper issues that need to be addressed in your negotiations.

 

Are you an experienced tenant?

Comfortable and experienced in negotiations? Perhaps you own another business and this lease is an expansion? You will probably want a thorough review to ensure what you have agreed is indeed reflected in the lease.  Maybe you don’t have time to read through a lease with scores of covenants, conditions, provisos and rights included to cover every possible eventuality and your time would be much better spent running your business. However, you will want a written resume demystifying the legal jargon to provide you with guidance and reassurance.

If this is the case, it may be beneficial to have a professional acting on your behalf in! Simply send us the draft lease that has been offered and tell us what you understand your agreement with the landlord is.   This will most likely require some element of renegotiation and therefore you will be provided with a written cost estimate advising you of a minimum and a maximum fee.  You will expect to be kept in touch; you don’t want to be chasing us because time costs money and you want the deal completed efficiently and quickly.  That is what we will strive to do on your behalf. 

 

Are you a Landlord? We can help.

We can guide you at each step of the way and prepare a draft lease just as soon as you have a tenant.  You will know what rent you want to achieve but might not have very much idea over and above that.

With a face-to-face fixed-fee appointment to discuss your requirements, you can discuss with us:  What issues are your red lines?  Negotiation techniques when the landlord’s interests differ from those of the tenant’s, and if you haven’t engaged a professional chartered surveyor to conduct the negotiations on your behalf, a couple of hours of your time could be money well spent. 

If you would like to get in touch call us on 0151 480 5777 or email us at property@levinslaw.co.uk